Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Orange Chikin'


I am so excited. I don't know why, after making the Vegan Wings, that it didn't dawn on me that I could now make a ton of chicken dishes that I used to love. HOORAY! This was so. freaking. delicious.


Ingredients:
1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
3/4 c. flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
3/4 cup milk of choice
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
3/4 c. vegetable broth
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1/4 c. water


How To:

Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Chop your cauliflower into florets. In a large bowl, combine flour, curry powder, garlic powder, red pepper, and nutritional yeast. Dip your florets in the milk and toss in the flour mixture. Transfer the florets to a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, flip and broil with the door open for 5 minutes, until golden brown. While all this is happening, you should probably go on to the next stuff.

In a skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Sauté the onions until fragrant, then add the peppers. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, then remove from heat. I transferred mine to a bowl.

In the same skillet, heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil. Sauté the 2 cloves of garlic, until golden. At this point, add the broth, juice, soy, and sugar. Stir to combine well. In a separate bowl, whisk the corn starch with the 1/4 cup of water. Add this mixture to your sauce and let this thicken.

This is what your "chikin" will look like when it comes out of the oven. (:

Toss your veggies and "chikin" in the sauce you've made, and let this heat for about 2 minutes.

Serve with brown rice and garnish with an orange and green onions.
ENJOY!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Motivation Monday

I love sweets. Love them. And, ya know, when you're trying to be healthier, sweets aren't what you want to eat. Recently, I've been trying some healthier sweet recipes. Banana ice cream is my favorite. It's so good. But recently, I tried these faux cookie dough bites, and they were amazing. They tasted like a lara bar!

Here is the recipe from My Whole Food Life.
Ingredients:
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
10-12 pitted medjool dates pitted
1/4 -1/2 cup water
optional chips, coconut, cacao nibs, raisins, etc.

How to:
Throw the almonds and oats in the food processor and blend into a fine powder.
Then add dates and continue to blend. 
Lastly, add the water, a little at a time until a paste like dough forms. 
Roll dough into little balls and place on a lined baking sheet. 
Put into the fridge to get the dough to firm up a bit.  Eat and enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Birchbox

Even though I was a little late, they gave the awesome option to choose a different box, or a sample to go in your regular box!


2. Opportunity

I've got an interview lined up for the State of Ohio!

3. Possibilities

As you may have seen last week, I've finished my application to Boston University Online School of Social Work! I'm more than ready to advance my career.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Jalapeño & Garlic "Cream" Pasta


It's Wednesday... right?
Don't mind me. I also just realized I didn't put up a Friday Favorites post last week. What?!
So, here's a vegan recipe that turned out way better than I had anticipated! This recipe is wayyyyy simple and quick to make on a busy night.
Boyfriend and his mom liked it! That's a real win, I tell you. Let's get to it.

Ingredients:
3/4 lb. pasta (I used whole wheat)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

For the sauce:
4 Tbsp. raw cashews
2 Tbsp. flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 jalapeño, seeded
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. almond milk, unsweetened
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. olive oil

How to:
Cook pasta according to the box. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the carrot and red pepper until tender. While that's going, literally throw all the ingredients for the sauce into a blender and blend until it's at a sauce consistency. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning on the veggies and mix all the components together. Heat the pasta for about 5 minutes, and it's done!






I served ours sprinkled with some Parmesan, because I can't resist cheese to save my life.
Let me know if you try this and how it turns out for you!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Motivation Monday

I do love a good smoothie! I'll be making this tomorrow morning!



Sunday, July 20, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday?

Spinach Lasagna Pasta Bake

Sorry this is late, late, late! I was finishing my application to grad school. WOOOO, it's complete!


So, I swear we aren't the vegetarians that eat a bunch of noodle dishes all the time. Really.
Boyfriend isn't a fan of soggy spinach in a baked dish, and I can't really blame him. Even so, he likes the fresh taste spinach gives to a dish. So, instead of just laying the spinach between the noodles, I blended them up with the ricotta! It was delicious...

Ingredients:


1 lb. Pasta of choice (I used quinoa shells!)
1 (15 oz.) tub of ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 cloves garlic
2 handfuls (about 3 oz.) baby spinach
Pinch of nutmeg
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Sauce:
1 (29 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Salt & Pepper to taste

How to:
Preheat your oven to 350. Start pasta according to directions. While that's going, put your ricotta, parmesan, and egg in a blender or food processor and blend.

 Add the garlic, nutmeg, red pepper, and italian seasonings in and blend.

 Place your 2 handfuls (or more!) with your cheese mixture and blend away! You'll end up with a green spinach cheese puree.

Simply heat up you crushed tomatoes on the stove, mixing in all the spices to make a simple pasta sauce.

 Now you can start assembling! Place about half of your noodles in a greased 9x13, and add about half of the pasta sauce you just made. The next layer will be your spinach/cheese mixture, then about 1 cup of your mozzarella. You'll have another layer of each after this.

 This is what the masterpiece will look like!

Place that in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden!
Serve it up warm with garlic bread or a salad!




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Birchbox Review - July 2014

I received another Birchbox in the mail last week! Yay! I love getting things in the mail because it's like Christmas. It just makes me happy! So, here are the things I received in this box, and my review on the items.



 First thing: a one-year (10 issue) subscription to Women's Health magazine. This is great, and I'm excited about it. However, I got the same thing in a box last year, and I only received maybe 2 issues. But whatever.
Value: $10

Sample size: 15 ml
Value: $0.93
Much to my surprise (since I really didn't like the perfume last month), I LOVE this. I've kept it at work, using it periodically through the day. It smells way different than the perfume, and I love the scent. Major plus that it doesn't leave my hands greasy.

Ruffian Nail Lacquer ($11 for 0.17 fl oz)
Full size!
Value: $11
So for this, I was able to choose the shade that I wanted. There was a metallic silver and metallic gold. Those are so ordinary, and I've been obsessing over rose gold lately, so that's what I chose. I can't say that it lasts any longer than normal nail polish for me. I'm really rough on nail polish. Not really sure why. However, it is a really nice color. I really like it.

Sample size: 1 towelette
Value: $1.20
It's nail polish remover............... So, yeah. It does what it's supposed to.

Sample size: 1 full size eyeliner
Value: $5.25
I received the Navy blue eyeliner. Typically, I'm a black, rarely brown, eyeliner person. Seldom you'll see me in a purple eyeliner. I recently read that blue eyeliner make tired eyes look, well, less tired. So, I tried this and it's not too bad! Also, I wore it for a full day and had minimal smudging. That's always a plus with pencil liners.

Sample size: 0.24 fl. oz.
Value: $8.16
I've tried this a couple of times. It has a nice texture and absorbs quickly, which I like. I also feel like it did a good job at hydrating my skin and didn't leave my face greasy. I'm still stuck on the AVEENO sample I received from Influenster, though.

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint ($38/ 1.7 fl. oz.)
Sample size: 0.17
Value: $3.80
I won't lie... I haven't tried this. It's just not something I like to use. I probably should just try it anyway. BUT! I received an email today from Birchbox, saying that this item didn't really fit my beauty profile, and they were giving me 100 Birchbox points. Hell yeah! So, add $10 to the value.

Total Value: $40.34
Plus, I got 100 Birchbox points. I'd say this isn't bad at all. I'm pretty happy with the things that I received this month. There's nothing I can really complain about. I mean the nail polish remover... but oh well. (:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Motivation Monday

A bit more about how weight loss affects your body...
I try really hard not to focus on the body image I want to achieve, and more on how I'm benefitting my body. Of course, as any girl, I would love to be fit and little, but it isn't my main goal. I just want my body to run as it should and be healthy!

I'll be starting the week off right at the gym tonight!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Not Your Mother's Way to Grow Long & Strong

I've been using this sulfate-free shampoo for about a week now! So far, I'm liking it!

2. These Sconces

While volunteering with my group this week, I saw these and NEEDED them. So, DIY to come!

3. Birchbox

It's like Christmas is monthly!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Influenster VoxBox

AVEENO Positively Radiant

Recently, I signed up for Influenster (as you can see the little blog tag on the right side of my blog). After I saw a friend get a complimentary box of hair goo, I needed to join (and get free stuff). The process is super easy. You go to Influenster, sign up, and do some simple surveys/reviews to earn badges. The higher your badge score (from doing reviews, answering questions, etc.) the more chance you have of getting a complimentary box! Pretty nifty, seeing as I like reading/writing reviews in my spare time. It didn't take long at all before I got an email saying that I had qualified for a VoxBox!

So, here it is. I received a complimentary tube of Aveeno's Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector to try and review!

Every morning and every night, after I've washed my face, I put this on. I use about a dime-sized amount to cover my whole face. After, I use my typical moisturizer, or in the am, I use my SPF and BB cream. Usually, I have a little redness (uneven tones) in my checks. It's not a huge deal to me after I put my foundation on, honestly, but what the heck. I actually noticed a difference after using this. The redness seemed to dissipate after a week and a half of use. I would also definitely have to say that my face was really soft. My face wash is an exfoliating one, but that alone never gave me the same soft skin as I have had using this product as well.
So, hey! This product works for me and it was complimentary. There is no complaining here!
Go try out Influenster. It's super easy and who doesn't like free stuff!? (:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Vegetarian Sausage Gravy & Biscuits


This is another one of boyfriend's favorite meals that he always breaks diet to eat. His belly typically doesn't appreciate that. So, I've vegetarian-ized it! It is completely boyfriend-approved. He said it tasted just like the original, and he loved it!
Vegetarian- 1 Carnivore- 0


Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour (I'm using whole wheat)
2 1/4 c. milk (I'm using skim)
(^I forgot to put it in the photo! D:)
3 Morningstar sausage patties, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Your favorite biscuits
1 tsp. cornstarch (only needed for desired thickness)
*eggs pictured for my scrambled eggs. I was scatter-brained last night!

How to:
Start by baking your biscuits according to the package.

Heat up your sausage and mince it. It doesn't have to be perfectly tiny pieces!

As we did in the recipe for Mac & Cheese, melt the butter in a sauce pan and whisk in the flour, making a roux. Cook that for about 5 minutes, whisking continuously.

Add your milk and whisk until smooth.

Toss in your minced sausage and continue to heat. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well. The gravy should be getting thicker as it cooks. If you like your gravy a little thicker, then go ahead and add some cornstarch at this point.

Once your biscuits are nice and golden, you can assemble!

I served ours up with some typical scrambled eggs. It turned out amazing. Boyfriend says it tastes exactly like the original!



As always, let me know if you try this and how it turns out for you! This is a great substitution for vegetarians who miss some of their old favorites!